If you’re going to down the 360 video road, then congratulations, we certainly see this as the future of film production.
But let’s get a few terms sorted out. What exactly is 360 video filming and what’s the difference between it and Virtual Reality or shooting in 360 3D video.
360 video filming means that you shoot something that can then be viewed in every direction. If you look at a 360 video film on your smartphone or tablet, you can just move the device up and you’ll see the ceiling or the sky and you can move it down and you’ll see the floor. If you move your camera all the way to the left and go full circle you’ll come back to where you started from.
Virtual Reality is basically a 360° film that you look at through a Virtual Reality headset and it gives you a much more immersive experience. You feel that you are there.
360° 3D, also known as 360° stereoscopic is only really useful for the Virtual Reality experience and this means shooting in a way that it feels like you can reach out and touch the objects in front of you in a Virtrual Reality film. It adds to the immersive experience.
What camera – We’ve chosen to work with an iZugar 360 video camera and we saw only two other realistic options. The Freedom 360 Go Pro Mount was the option we kind of regretted not taking but it couldn’t manage a stereoscopic effect which is what we needed for the project we had. But this was a less expensive option and probably a better option than the iZugar, at least if you don’t need to creat the stereoscopic effect. Here’s the link to the Freedom 360.
After that, we found that GoPro themselves had some mounts and we were very keen on these but their option was a 12-camera option and even a 14-camera option and we knew that the stitching and compiling of all that data would cause so many problems that it was better to go for fewer cameras than more cameras.
With the iZugar rig we ordered, we also received six wide-angle lenses which we inserted into the GoPro’s. So, we removed the original lenses and replaced them with these new lenses. It was a simple enough procedure but it also means that any warranty you have on your GoPro is null and void once you make the change. The cameras are assembled in pairs to allow you shoot in 3D. Here’s a link to their page.
Since we shot our video in early October, the market has now been flooded with a new range of inexpensive cameras that claim to do the stitching work for you. They are all worth checking out and this post gives you a good list of the absolute latest on the market.
If you have any tips on the rigs you have been using and the benefits you see with them, please drop us a line or comment here. The more experience people have with this technology the better.